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haiti: day of meals

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I showed you some of the customary Haitian food last year, but I wanted to show you what a typical day of food looks like. Now this is more than what most Haitians eat on a daily basis, but still much less than most Americans. They feed us very, very well and the food is amazing, I absolutely love it! They’ve even got red wine!

Before my first trip, I asked my Mom how I would possibly be able to eat, when there are hungry people so close.  She responded with a wise and realistic answer: we are there to work in the clinic, and we aren’t going to do any good if we can’t perform at our best. This makes sense, but is still something I think of often while I’m there.

The portions are moderate and going back for seconds doesn’t typically seem right. Our leftovers are someone else’s meal, so I always really ask myself if I really need more food. I will admit to having seconds of popcorn though. A few times. 🙂 As you can see, the meals are comprised mainly of starches, with some meat and vegetables sprinkled in. We also always bring a few loaves of bread and mamba (peanut butter) to eat throughout the week as well, which can help supplement small meals.

A number of times throughout the trip, I thought about how Haiti is not the place to be a picky eater, a “certain kind” of eater, counting carbs, etc. I’m so glad that I can eat white pasta and peanut butter with added sugar and some hydrogenated oils without going crazy. I know I don’t eat that way all the time, or at home, but when I’m in Haiti, I’ll eat just about anything.

Breakfast: spaghetti with deli ham

Lunch: soup with carrots, potato, green beans and a side of yucca root

Dinner: rigatoni with peas and bits of ham (leftover from breakfast), rice & beans with onion sauce, yams and a carrot, squash and beef (goat?) dish that was delicious. With a side of popcorn. Any cuisine that serves popcorn as part of the meal is one that I’ll enjoy 😉

You didn’t think I’d do a post without a cute kid picture, did you? I just can’t help myself!

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  1. Lori@FakeFoodFree

    Your mom makes such a great comment. I often feel the same way when we travel to parts of the Caribbean for vacation. Us living the life when there is so much poverty. It helps when locals emphasize how important tourism is to their economy. If people didn’t travel there, it would have a huge impact. We also try to help when we can with taking donations.

    That dinner plate looks so good. The less fortunate countries always seem to have the best food. They know how to take what they have and make it delicious and satisfying. Sometimes simple is so much better!

    • Emily

      Tourism is such a good point too Lori! It’s obviously not huge in Haiti, but when we are there we are spending money, supporting local farmers, etc. Something to remember!

    • Emily

      Breakfasts are very different! We did have eggs once or twice, but pasta is very typical, as is soup joumou, a pumpkin-like soup. It’s an adjustment, but luckily I can adjust quickly!

  2. Tracey

    I love reading about your experiences in Haiti. What you are doing is helping out so many people. Not only in Haiti but you are keeping the eyes, of those not in Haiti, open and educating them as well.

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Janetha G - meals & moves

    Oh, she is a doll! I love living vicariously through you. I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about Haitian food. That is good that you have an open mind and will eat what you can and not be picky. I am the same way when out of the country.